Canada: The Opposite of Mining: Tar Sands Steam Extraction Lessens Footprint, but Environmental Costs Remain

Scientific American: The challenge of pulling oil from sand near here has typically required scraping away the boreal forest and underlying peat to expose the tar sand deposits below. The thickened sand is scooped out, then boiled to separate out the bitumen, with the leftover contaminated water and muck dumped in vast holding ponds the size of small lakes. From orbit the enormous strip mines and tailings lakes created by this process stand out, like a spreading sore--a scar on the planet evidencing the American thirst......

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